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A focus on growth – interview with Marco Perona, CEO EMEA

by RES | apr 29, 2024 | Tid det tar att läsa: 3 min

With a strong global development portfolio of 22GW due to come online within the next five years and nearly half of this coming to market within Europe and Australia, we spoke with Marco Perona, CEO EMEA about RES’ tripling of investment in development and future growth plans.

2023 marked a tipping point for the world’s power sector with fossil fuels being replaced by a record expansion of clean energy sources. Marco noted that, “this is the ‘beginning of the end’ for fossil fuels. We understand what needs to be done and are focused on making it happen.”

This week the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the goal to stop global temperature rise 1.5oC was “still possible, but not for long”. At a pivotal time to reduce carbon emissions, RES has been rapidly increasing its investment in key markets and has been doing so for the last three years. In fact, since 2021 RES has tripled its investment in its global development pipeline across offshore and onshore wind, solar, battery storage, and more recently, green hydrogen.

“Many investors have been on a similar path to ourselves,” Marco noted. “Billions are being raised for the energy transition, and there is strong interest from financial players but equally from utilities and some of the oil and gas majors who are repositioning their businesses. In the 42 years that we have been operating in the renewables sector, we have never been more confident in its growth and have increased our investment in development to match that demand.”

“To implement and support this accelerated growth, we had to reinforce our organisation at every level, from increasing our technical and commercial support, introducing new ways of working and improving our processes. Many parts have come together to achieve this, and it is something we are proud of,” Marco added.

Reflecting for a moment on what has brought RES to this milestone, Marco believes the company’s global success – over 23GW of wind, solar and energy storage projects developed in four decades is underpinned not only by the company’s technical capabilities but also by RES’ responsible and respectful development style.

“We have an industry-leading set of tools that ensure we choose sites with the best natural resource and suitable grid connections, but it is the way we do business – always striving to be a conscientious developer – that has driven our success,” Marco said.

“We have several projects in progress right now where we are working closely with First Nations communities in Australia, the US and Canada.  It has always been very important to us that we engage early with communities and stakeholders who will host our projects, and build strong relationships, work with them throughout the project lifecycle”, Marco added. Indeed, job creation, economic growth, and enhancements to local infrastructure are all typical benefits of RES developed projects.

Turning attention to the future, one of the major bottlenecks impacting the pace of renewable deployment globally, is permitting. “If we are to achieve our 2030 goals, we cannot have a permitting process that lasts six to eight years,” Marco said. To support industry progress on key matters such as this, RES has been a longstanding participant of industry associations, working groups and technical forums.

Talking of innovation, Marco was quick to highlight RES’ appetite for new ways of doing business as well as technology innovation in areas such as repowering operational sites, retrofitting sites with storage and exploring green hydrogen for industrial decarbonisation. For example, in the UK, RES is working with manufacturers such as Kimberly-Clark to install on-site green hydrogen electrolysers to replace natural gas. Meanwhile in Sweden, RES has partnered with Ånge Municipality to catalyse green industrial growth in the region through green hydrogen.

“We are increasingly signing joint ventures and partnerships. Project bundles, which appeal to very large investors are becoming more common, while we are also seeing appetite for investors to buy into projects at an earlier stage of development” Marco noted. “There is huge investment potential to unlock, and we are proactive in exploring ways to realise that” Marco added.

To find out more about investment opportunities with RES, contact [email protected]

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